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Jan Gossaert (Jean Gossart)

active 1508; died 1532

Jan Gossaert, sometimes called Mabuse after his birthplace Maubeuge, is more correctly named as Jean Gossart, following his own signature and his origins in French-speaking Hainault. 

He may have begun his career in Antwerp, but by 1508 he was almost certainly in the service of Philip of Burgundy and evidently accompanied him to Rome where, in 1509, he drew some of the antiquities. On his return he apparently continued to work for Philip in Brussels and at Souburg in Zeeland. In 1517 Philip became bishop of Utrecht and Gossart followed him there. After Philip’s death in 1524 he worked for Adolf of Burgundy, Lord of Veere, but also had many other noble patrons. 

For Philip, Gossart made in 1516, a painting of Neptune and Amphitrite now in Berlin, featuring full-length life-size nudes in a classically inspired architectural setting. He also painted large altarpieces and a number of notable portraits, of which the Gallery has a fine and varied group. 

In some of his works Gossart affected a self-conscious desire to evoke antiquity but it does not appear that his stay in Rome had a very profound effect on his style. The Gallery's Adoration of the Kings, a huge work in which splendid detail is marshalled into a coherent and compelling whole, includes very limited Italianate references and was most probably painted after his return from Rome.